I’m thrilled to welcome another very talented writer to the blog today … this author from New Orleans. I was fortunate enough to meet her at the Hoover, Alabama Library (near Birmingham, Ala.) just a few months ago! We had at least half a dozen people tell us we look like sisters!
Let me introduce Laura Lane McNeal to everyone! Now, how can you go wrong with a name like that??
Truly, Laura’s debut novel is really lovely ~ it takes place in New Orleans. I listened to the Audible version and just adored it! I can’t wait for the next one, also set in Louisiana.
Without further ado, here’s Laura Lane McNeal ….
New Orleans, born and raised!
2. How long have you been writing?
I was in advertising for most of my career, worked a journalist and ran a magazine before taking the leap into writing fiction, a decision spurred by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that made me realize life is fleeting. Writing DOLLBABY was my way of giving back to New Orleans, of putting New Orleans back on the map even when politicians said the city shouldn’t be rebuilt.
3. List the books you’ve written:
My first novel DOLLBABY, published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking in 2014 and the paperback by Penguin in 2015, was a 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards Top Ten Finalist in Historical Fiction, a 2015 SIBA Awards Finalist, A New York Post Must Read, an Indie Next Pick, A SIBA Okra Pick, and a Library Reads Pick, among others.
Set against the backdrop of the civil-rights era, DOLLBABY is a coming-of-age that weaves together the lives of five women who prove that family can be found where you least expect it. When Ibby Bell’s father dies the summer of 1964, her mother deposits eleven-year-old Ibby in New Orleans with her eccentric grandmother, Fannie. Her grandmother’s rundown Victorian mansion is like no place Ibby’s ever been, and Fannie like no one she’s ever met. Ibby falls under the care of Fannie’s cook, Queenie, and her outspoken daughter, Dollbaby, who initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets. DOLLBABY is a dazzling love letter to the Big Easy, featuring a winning young heroine and an unforgettable cast of characters.
4. Share the best thing a fan has ever told you:
As authors we sit alone behind our computers, not knowing how the world will receive our work, so when we receive compliments from readers, it makes our whole struggle seem worthwhile. Even so, I’m always humbled by a compliment. When a fan hugged me tightly and told me that DOLLBABY was a masterpiece and the best book they’d ever read, a tear came to my eye. Even now, thinking about it makes me blush. This is why we keep writing, right?
5. Share a sentence from a recent Goodreads review:
Goodreads is a wonderful venue for readers to check out new books! I was thrilled when the readers voted DOLLBABY as one of the Top Ten Best Historical Fiction novels of 2014! It was hard to narrow down, but this sentence resonated with me (from a male reader no less!):
Dollbaby is an absolutely spellbinding debut that is written with intelligence, warmth, humor and reverie….
6. Tell us about the book you’re working on now:
I recently completed The Wisdom Of Water, a novel set in south Louisiana in the 1920’s about two young women whose lives collide during the Great Flood of 1927. Publication date is TBD, but I hope to have it out some time in 2017.
7. Describe the book in 3 words:
Three words???? Oh my, lets see….Epic Southern Saga…. Louisiana Historical Fiction…Evangeline meets Huey Long… oh sorry that’s four words! That’s a tough one!
8. Next event where you’ll be signing books or speaking:
After two years of traveling promoting DOLLBABY I’m taking the summer off, but check my website or follow me on Facebook where I’m constantly updating my schedule!
9. Where can readers find you online and on social media?
10. Where can readers buy your books?
Anywhere books are sold! But here are a few links:
My website: http://www.lauralanemcneal.com/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dollbaby-laura-lane-mcneal/1117225081?ean=9780670014736
Would you like to win Laura’s book, plus 9 other fabulous novels?
Here’s the link to enter the JUNE giveaway: